Miranda named one of ‘Houston’s 50 Most Influential Women of 2016’

Houston Woman Magazine has named Rice Provost Marie Lynn Miranda one of “Houston’s 50 Most Influential Women of 2016.”

The magazine staff selected the honorees from nominations submitted by subscribers.

Publisher Beverly Denver said the honorees are “knowledgeable, credible and trustworthy. The thoughts and actions of these women influence the thoughts and actions of others.”

photo of Marie Lynn Miranda

Marie Lynn Miranda

Miranda became the Howard R. Hughes Provost and a professor of statistics at Rice in July 2015. As the university’s chief academic officer, she has responsibility for promoting and supporting the excellence of the university’s academic, research, scholarly and creative programs and activities. She works closely with the vice provosts and deans in fulfilling Rice’s mission focused on education, research and outreach to Houston, the nation and the world.

Miranda is also an adjunct professor of pediatrics at Duke University, the University of Michigan and Baylor College of Medicine.

She specializes in research on environmental health, especially how the environment shapes the health and well-being of children. She is the founding director of the Children’s Environmental Health Initiative, a research, education and outreach program committed to fostering environments where all people can prosper. The initiative oversees multiple environmental research projects that emphasize the special vulnerabilities of children, and it maintains a deep institutional commitment to issues of social justice and thus focuses much of its work in low-income and minority communities.

Houston Woman Magazine’s write-up about Miranda notes that her educational background “is rooted in economic and mathematical modeling” and her professional experiences “integrate environmental health sciences with sound social policies.”

“She is a leader in the evolving field of geospatial health informatics,” the magazine wrote. Miranda has applied spatial analytic approaches to a wide range of environmental issues. She also has extensive experience leading and managing training, research translation and outreach programs, especially as they relate to disadvantaged populations.

Miranda has taught courses and conducted research on children’s environmental health, with a particular emphasis on reproductive and developmental toxicants, childhood lead exposure and allergen and asthma triggers. She maintains an active research portfolio, with a funding history that includes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the state of North Carolina, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Wallace Genetics Foundation, the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation and the Duke Endowment.

“She maintains a deep and abiding personal and professional interest in environmental and social justice,” Houston Woman Magazine wrote. Her research group received the 2008 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Justice Award.

Miranda is a Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of Duke, where she earned her A.B. in mathematics and economics and was named a Truman Scholar. She has a Ph.D. and an M.A., both in economics, from Harvard University. Before coming to Rice, Miranda was the Samuel A. Graham Dean of the School of Natural Resources and Environment and a professor of pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Michigan. She also served for 21 years on the faculty of Duke University, with a primary appointment in the Nicholas School of the Environment.

The complete list of “Houston’s 50 Most Influential Women of 2016” is posted at http://houstonwomanmagazine.com/index.php/50-women.

About B.J. Almond

B.J. Almond is senior director of news and media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.